Skip to main content

In Chile and Australia, the Shadow of Japan

Here’s a bit of news that might seem unusual at first:

{…} Chile and the United States signed an accord on Friday intended to help Chile develop a nuclear energy program.

Chile, a country that imports much of its energy, is considering building nuclear reactors to try to fill an expected energy gap in the next few decades. But the developing nuclear crisis in Japan has complicated the debate in Chile, which suffered an 8.8-magnitude earthquake last year that caused widespread destruction.

That may be more a question of timing. There are compelling reasons to proceed:

Chilean officials are concerned that limits on the amount of energy the country may import and its outdated power grid will compromise the rapid growth of its economy. Chile will require a doubling of its energy supplies over the next 12 years if demand for electricity continues to grow at 6 percent a year, said Jorge Zanelli, a physicist who carried out a study of nuclear energy in 2007 for the previous Chilean government. More than 60 percent of that increase would have to be met with energy from fossil fuels if nuclear energy is not part of the equation, Mr. Zanelli said.

There will be more to say.

At the present time, it seems striking – as it has in a lot of instances – that nuclear energy is generating electricity all over the world – safely, with no nerves jangling – and deals and treaties continue to be struck – in their full measure – and countries will proceed as they see fit – with Japan in the mix where it was not before but not necessarily in the determinative spot.

We sometimes say “wait and see” when there is more to be known. So – let’s wait and see.

---

And from Australia’s The Age:

Australia's supporters of nuclear energy are sticking to their view that it does have a place in this country, despite the reactor crisis in Japan.

As well they should.

'It's had a remarkable performance of providing safe power over the last 30 years, and if something goes wrong it should be in the context of its achievements,'' Mr [Hugh] Morgan, former Western Mining chief executive, told The Sunday Age.

True. The whole article is worth reading.

Comments

Popular posts from this blog

Sneak Peek

There's an invisible force powering and propelling our way of life.
It's all around us. You can't feel it. Smell it. Or taste it.
But it's there all the same. And if you look close enough, you can see all the amazing and wondrous things it does.
It not only powers our cities and towns.
And all the high-tech things we love.
It gives us the power to invent.
To explore.
To discover.
To create advanced technologies.
This invisible force creates jobs out of thin air.
It adds billions to our economy.
It's on even when we're not.
And stays on no matter what Mother Nature throws at it.
This invisible force takes us to the outer reaches of outer space.
And to the very depths of our oceans.
It brings us together. And it makes us better.
And most importantly, it has the power to do all this in our lifetime while barely leaving a trace.
Some people might say it's kind of unbelievable.
They wonder, what is this new power that does all these extraordinary things?

A Design Team Pictures the Future of Nuclear Energy

For more than 100 years, the shape and location of human settlements has been defined in large part by energy and water. Cities grew up near natural resources like hydropower, and near water for agricultural, industrial and household use.

So what would the world look like with a new generation of small nuclear reactors that could provide abundant, clean energy for electricity, water pumping and desalination and industrial processes?

Hard to say with precision, but Third Way, the non-partisan think tank, asked the design team at the Washington, D.C. office of Gensler & Associates, an architecture and interior design firm that specializes in sustainable projects like a complex that houses the NFL’s Dallas Cowboys. The talented designers saw a blooming desert and a cozy arctic village, an old urban mill re-purposed as an energy producer, a data center that integrates solar panels on its sprawling flat roofs, a naval base and a humming transit hub.

In the converted mill, high temperat…

Seeing the Light on Nuclear Energy

If you think that there is plenty of electricity, that the air is clean enough and that nuclear power is a just one among many options for meeting human needs, then you are probably over-focused on the United States or Western Europe. Even then, you’d be wrong.

That’s the idea at the heart of a new book, “Seeing the Light: The Case for Nuclear Power in the 21st Century,” by Scott L. Montgomery, a geoscientist and energy expert, and Thomas Graham Jr., a retired ambassador and arms control expert.


Billions of people live in energy poverty, they write, and even those who don’t, those who live in places where there is always an electric outlet or a light switch handy, we need to unmake the last 200 years of energy history, and move to non-carbon sources. Energy is integral to our lives but the authors cite a World Health Organization estimate that more than 6.5 million people die each year from air pollution.  In addition, they say, the global climate is heading for ruinous instability. E…